Author Topic: Kentucky Kingdom/WA/FC Rumor  (Read 913 times)

shavethewhales

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Kentucky Kingdom/WA/FC Rumor
« on: February 19, 2021, 11:29:17 AM »
So Lance just posted a whopper of a rumor on screamscape.com about the possibility of HFEC buying up Kentucky Kingdom and possibly FC as well, while disposing of Wild Adventures. http://screamscape.com/html/kentucky_kingdom.htm

The idea of them buying KK at least seems absolutely plausible, but I'm not sure I could see SF parting with Frontier City (even though they don't technically own it). Who knows though, it's a very tantalizing rumor.

Perhaps enthusiasts are just making too much out of a simple teaser image again, but after the craziness of the past year and Ed Hart's advancing age, it would make sense for some consolidation in the industry and for this park specifically to get bought out.

Jaykethekid

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Re: Kentucky Kingdom/WA/FC Rumor
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2021, 04:36:33 PM »
Purchasing Kentucky Kingdom isn't all that crazy of a prospect. That one would make sense, at least a little bit. Frontier City however? That's something I'm not confident in. Considering the massive amount of money that has been invested into improving the park all around, I don't see EPR and SF willing to sell it unless they planned from the beginning on investing into the park to raise its value and then selling it, sorta like flipping a house.

sdcfan88

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Re: Kentucky Kingdom/WA/FC Rumor
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2021, 11:36:07 PM »
Yeah I don't buy the Frontier City rumor either. Why sell it back to EPR/Six Flags only to have it sold off again immediately after? Even to flip a property I don't see a big corporate chain like Six Flags playing hot potato and bothering to spend money on buying and updating a small regional park only to dump it off in less than 5 years time unless they had a buyers remorse situation and pulled back on their original investment plans for the park for whatever reason. (COVID maybe?)

I also don't really see them dumping Wild Adventures as it and the HFEC corporate headquarters are both in Georgia. They wouldn't have a competing entertainment company take over a theme park in their own backyard so to speak. Its kinda like the reasoning behind how Branson USA became Celebration City.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2021, 11:54:36 PM by sdcfan88 »

Dewayne

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Re: Kentucky Kingdom/WA/FC Rumor
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2021, 09:07:08 PM »
NO!!! If Herschends bought FC, I would be PISSED!!! Six Flags finally got it back in their posession (mostly) and I expect them to make it a great park! I don't want Herschends coming in and ruining everything we have! I know FC currently plays crappy country music around most of the park March thru mid-September, except in Timbertown and the Wild West Water Works area. Herschends would make it even worse by bringing their own crappy music in and playing it around the entire park, remove Frightfest/Hallowfest forever, remove all the great shows, replace the good music in the shows with their own crap music, and all kinds of other things that will probably be horrible! I highly doubt they would improve it in any way! As for Hurricane Harbor, who knows what they would do. Six Flags is by far the best choice for this park.

shavethewhales

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Re: Kentucky Kingdom/WA/FC Rumor
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2021, 06:28:47 PM »
^You realize SF was responsible for running FC into the ground, right? It's still owned by the REIT group anyway, and they are absolutely in the business of flipping properties for the right price. I expect SF will be first in line to buy though when they are ready to make a deal.

It sounds like Lance is pulling back on this rumor already. Who knows the truth. So many of these rumors pop up and are instantly shot down, but it doesn't mean wheels are still turning behind the scenes. A lot depends on how strong the comeback is this year. I'm betting it will be pretty record setting as people rush to make up for lost vacation time.

Dewayne

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Re: Kentucky Kingdom/WA/FC Rumor
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2021, 09:36:02 AM »
^You realize SF was responsible for running FC into the ground, right? It's still owned by the REIT group anyway, and they are absolutely in the business of flipping properties for the right price. I expect SF will be first in line to buy though when they are ready to make a deal.

Are you kidding me? Back when Six Flags wasn't fully running the park (2018 and before), Premier Parks was mainly running it and they are the ones to blame for the park being so bad, let the paint chip, everything look cheap, everything look crappy, etc. Now that Six Flags fully runs it, they have made SO MANY improvements, upgrades, and they are planning on bringing big rides to the park soon! Six Flags is by far the BEST company to run this park and one of the best, if not the best park company in America!!! If you went to Frontier City lately, you would clearly see how much better Six Flags is than Premier. Six Flags actually cares, they theme their attractions extremely well, and they give the public what they want! When Six Flags is ready to own the entire property, I'm all for it because they will have 100% say in everything they do on the property and expanding the property. That will be the moment that they start making this park great in every way.

For example, look at Magic Springs (which is still managed by Premier Parks) and compare it to what FC is today. That will show you the difference between both companies.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2021, 09:42:34 AM by Dewayne »

shavethewhales

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Re: Kentucky Kingdom/WA/FC Rumor
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2021, 02:17:32 PM »
^I don't think you were really around for the Six Flags days Dewayne. The SF HQ used to be literally right there, and yet they let the property stagnate. Premier actually did a good job if I recall, but they started from ground zero and had to balance adding some new attractions and fixing things up. It's great that the park has had lots of TLC, but that's what REIT groups specialize in. They pick up distressed properties, polish them up, and operate them for awhile before selling them off. I think that SF will pick up FC in a few years, but HFEC will probably put a bid in.


Anyway, the big news: https://www.wdrb.com/in-depth/kentucky-kingdom-to-be-sold-to-national-park-operator/article_4b30482e-752e-11eb-9771-7bb3912ffbd0.html

Looks like it is official! Didn't see it coming. Sounds like HFEC has some big plans. I'm really excited for the chain to expand with an actual property. I think the management contracts they got into a few years ago soured their image with enthusiasts, but people may be surprised what they do with an actual property. WA was a dump when they took it over, and while they have removed some big rides recently, it's a different circumstance than KK.

Swoosh

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Re: Kentucky Kingdom/WA/FC Rumor
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2021, 10:48:52 PM »
Before anyone gets too excited please recognize what the KK and FC acquisitions are really about... driving attendance to Dollywood and SDC.  I imagine theyíll offer platinum passes which will allow visitors to visit both parks.  We saw a test of this with the Tulsa Incredible Pizza and SDC combo.  While the addition of these two parks will help the companyís bottom line this is not benevolent this is strategic.  Look for them to overload Wild Adventures and Stone Mountain soon because they both serve no purpose in this new reorganization of HFEC.  Itíll be interesting to see of the HFEC corporate HQ is moved from Atlanta to a more central location for the company
SWOOSH

sdcfan88

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Re: Kentucky Kingdom/WA/FC Rumor
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2021, 11:22:26 PM »
Itíll be interesting to see of the HFEC corporate HQ is moved from Atlanta to a more central location for the company

It has always irked me why they put corporate all the way down in GA. From what I always understood Herschend Entertainment's roots was always in Missouri with SDC/Marvel Cave being the original property.

chittlins

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Re: Kentucky Kingdom/WA/FC Rumor
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2021, 08:38:28 AM »
Itíll be interesting to see of the HFEC corporate HQ is moved from Atlanta to a more central location for the company

It has always irked me why they put corporate all the way down in GA. From what I always understood Herschend Entertainment's roots was always in Missouri with SDC/Marvel Cave being the original property.

They aren't going to move the HQ. That's silly talk.

I'm more interested in if other parks are acquired and we see an enhanced pass that includes entry to all parks not just discounts on admission.

It strikes me that Louisville is likely a large draw area for Dollywood and this is a way to further season pass membership subscriptions in Louisville and even in a place like Nashville

Swoosh

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Re: Kentucky Kingdom/WA/FC Rumor
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2021, 09:39:52 PM »
Itíll be interesting to see of the HFEC corporate HQ is moved from Atlanta to a more central location for the company

It has always irked me why they put corporate all the way down in GA. From what I always understood Herschend Entertainment's roots was always in Missouri with SDC/Marvel Cave being the original property.

They aren't going to move the HQ. That's silly talk.

I'm more interested in if other parks are acquired and we see an enhanced pass that includes entry to all parks not just discounts on admission.

It strikes me that Louisville is likely a large draw area for Dollywood and this is a way to further season pass membership subscriptions in Louisville and even in a place like Nashville

It was crazy talk when they moved it from Branson to Atlanta but they wanted it to be closer to their new Georgia parks and Dollywood.  However those Georgia parks wonít be part of the chain much longer so again it doesnít make sense to keep it here.  Nashville or Louisville or even St. Louis would make more sense now
SWOOSH

U Smell Smoke

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Re: Kentucky Kingdom/WA/FC Rumor
« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2021, 05:54:12 AM »
Nashville would be a nice location for their corporate headquarters. Especially if they ever wanted to develop and build a new theme park in Nashville.  Those rumors have popped up from time to time through the years--mainly Dolly headlining something there.  A park in Nashville would give them a nice footprint in that part of the country. I would think they could upsale all park passes like crazy in that scenario.  I live in Southern Illinois and I know I would snap one up.  I can't imagine the Holiday World folks are too excited about improved competition in Louisville.

chittlins

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Re: Kentucky Kingdom/WA/FC Rumor
« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2021, 08:11:35 AM »
I see lots of wishful thinking on moving the HQ.

While we are wishful thinking the Busch Gardens parks would be nice additions. Notice I left out SeaWorld but I can see that as well.

If they went down that road an IPO might be in the future.

Pintrader

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Re: Kentucky Kingdom/WA/FC Rumor
« Reply #13 on: February 24, 2021, 08:41:20 AM »

If they went down that road an IPO might be in the future.

I have thought about that many times over the years.  It seems like every year and purchase gets them that much closer to an IPO.  It may not happen in the near future but eventually after the brothers are out of the picture I definitely could see this happening.

Who knows how they stand financially across the board after this last year but you would think they took a pretty good jolt.

shavethewhales

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Re: Kentucky Kingdom/WA/FC Rumor
« Reply #14 on: February 24, 2021, 01:19:19 PM »
What would an IPO get them at this point, other than a pay day for management? Being public is a constant headache, and they are already growing their business at a steady, pragmatic clip. An IPO would only make sense if they actually wanted to take over SEAS.

Swoosh: do you think there's any veracity to them trying to buy FC in the immediate future? I think we may be putting too much stock into that deleted picture of the map. You are probably right about them driving attendance to the big parks, but I'm not sure I see them needing to get rid of WA or Stone Mountain. I doubt those properties add much complexity to their business and extra revenue and clout is always good for a growing company. If they sell off Talking Rocks Cavern, then we'll know their attitude has shifted.